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Why are 50% of Sales Reps Missing Quota?!

by Trish Bertuzzi on Wed, Aug 18, 2010

Last week, Chad Levitt (of the New Sales Economy blog) reacted to this data point from our 2010 Inside Sales research report:

 In a given group, percentage of Reps making quota:

  50%

Chad commented:

The most mind boggling statistic in the sales industry has to be that 50% of sales reps are not making quota. With all the Sales 2.0 tools available and ease of finding info on the web the sales industry is still struggling to hit its goals. I want to know why.

Here was my response to Chad.

  1. We are lazy and our hiring decisions are based on gut as opposed to repeatable success
  2. We don’t invest in an effective on boarding process….we let reps sink or swim
  3. Reps don’t know who to call or what to say when they connect
  4. When they do connect they show up and throw up and it is all about them instead of the buyer
  5. Marketing develops content to fill the top of the funnel but neglects the content that would help sales move the process forward
  6. Reps think inbound marketing means “they will call me if they want something”
  7. We have no idea how to ask for referrals or mine our own customer base
  8. Sales management does not know the difference between urgent and important
  9. Quotas are top down and based on something the board hands down after they passed the peace pipe

There were some excellent comments on Chad's post. Here are 2 that stuck out for me:

"I'd go on to add that not only are the hiring decision lazy, but the firing ones seem to be, too. I've seen countless numbers of inside folks stick around WAY longer than they should have, simply because replacing them was going to take too long. Or because they fit the culture."
- Chris Snell
 
 
"Selling the how (technology, methodology, product) rather than the outcomes"
-  Robert Koehler 

Both make excellent points. Why do you think 50% of sales reps are missing quota? Please share your thoughts.
 

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